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Press Release

Mexican National Sentenced to 17 Years for Drug Trafficking, Possessing a Machine Gun

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Missouri

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tom Larson, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Kansas City, Mo., man has been sentenced in federal court in two separate cases for drug trafficking and for illegally possessing a machine gun and a rifle.

Jonathan Villegas-Escobar, 26, a citizen of Mexico residing in Kansas City, Mo., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gary A. Fenner to 17 years and seven months in federal prison without parole.

On March 6, 2017, Villegas-Escobar pleaded guilty to possessing a machine gun. Villegas-Escobar also pleaded guilty, in a separate federal indictment, to participating in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and to using a firearm during a drug-trafficking crime.

Villegas-Escobar admitted that the amount of drugs foreseeable to him during the methamphetamine distribution conspiracy is 692.39 grams of pure methamphetamine. As relevant conduct, Villegas-Escobar also admitted responsibility for 5.29 kilograms of cocaine distributed with co-defendant Demond Robins, 36, of Kansas City, Mo.

During the course of the cocaine-trafficking conspiracy, Villegas-Escobar and Robins distributed approximately 1.9 kilograms of cocaine to a law enforcement confidential informant. Law enforcement officers seized approximately $152,675, which equates to approximately 3.392 kilograms of cocaine (based on approximately $45/gram). Additionally, Robins received approximately three kilograms of cocaine from co-defendant Jose Aguayo-Rodriguez, 25, a citizen of Mexico residing in Kansas City, Mo. (To avoid double-counting, only one additional kilogram of cocaine is attributed to Robins.) This results in a total of approximately 6.292 kilograms of cocaine.

Villegas-Escobar also admitted that he carried and used a .40-caliber Hi-Point rifle in relation to a drug-trafficking crime. Villegas-Escobar sold the firearm to another individual during a drug transaction in which he also sold methamphetamine to the same individual.

In the second federal case, Villegas-Escobar admitted that he possessed a machine gun on March 24, 2015. Villegas-Escobar sold another individual a Glock 9mm handgun, which had been converted into a fully-automatic machine gun.

Robins pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison without parole for his role in the drug-trafficking conspiracy and for participating in a money-laundering conspiracy. Aguayo-Rodriguez pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years in federal prison without parole.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bradley K. Kavanaugh. It was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department and Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Updated December 13, 2017

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Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses